After four seasons together, Katie Sowers and the 49ers have decided to go their separate ways.
Multiple sources confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area on Thursday that friction between the parties was not the basis for them to separate and Sowers is leaving on good terms. The assistant coach's contract ended at the conclusion of the 2020 season and was not renewed.
Sowers confirmed the news that she no longer is employed by the 49ers to NBC Sports Bay Area, and she later posted an Instagram farewell message.
Back in September, Sowers’ sister, Liz, claimed in a social media post that the coach was being disrespected by the team. Liz indicated this was evident by Katie's seat assignment on the team’s chartered flight back to Santa Clara after the 49ers' Week 3 win over the New York Giants.
Liz claimed her sister was seated in economy, while every other full-time coach was in first class. Neither the 49ers nor Katie confirmed the statement, and the post was deleted shortly thereafter.
Sowers had been employed by the 49ers since 2017, originally as a seasonal assistant and finally as a full-time offensive assistant primarily working with the wide receivers. Sowers broke ground as the first female and openly gay full-time coach in NFL history.
There is a possibility that a lack of upward mobility within the organization is a reason that Sowers' time with the 49ers ended. If that is the case, she now will have an opportunity to explore options throughout the league.